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Deputy dog warden feared for his life in knife attack

Deputy dog warden Dave Nelson

YOUNGSTOWN — “I’m just so glad to be alive. He was going for the kill,” deputy Mahoning County dog warden Dave Nelson said Wednesday, about being stabbed Tuesday afternoon during a call about a dog on the South Side.

Nelson was stabbed in the left forearm as he sat in his dog warden’s van, but Nelson also had a bruise above his left eye, a bandage on his right wrist and a bruise and small cut on his chest.

A man identified by police as Squire Glenn Jr., 60, was being held Wednesday in the Mahoning County jail on a charge of felonious assault. He was arraigned Wednesday in Youngstown Municipal Court and has a preliminary hearing at 9:15 a.m. next Wednesday. No bail amount was listed in court or jail records.

His photo was not available, and municipal court records Wednesday afternoon did not list him.

Glenn does not have an extensive criminal record locally, but he was convicted of four counts of felonious assault on a police officer in 1993, and Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced him to 10 to 25 years in prison.

Nelson said the 3:22 p.m. attack by a man in a wheelchair happened fast and unexpectedly at the corner of West Myrtle Avenue and Oak Hill Avenue.

“I’m glad I’m still here. I thought it was the end,” Nelson told The Vindicator Wednesday afternoon.

THE ATTACK

Nelson had just observed the man walking the dog Nelson had gone there to check on. The man and dog were on the driver’s side of Nelson’s van.

“He was 8 feet away walking the dog,” Nelson said. “I said, ‘Hey, can I give that dog some water?'”

The man and dog disappeared, said Nelson, who has worked as a deputy dog warden about 25 years. He looked in his driver’s side mirror trying to locate the man but couldn’t see him.

Nelson turned to the right to talk into his radio to report that he was about to get out of the vehicle at that location. Suddenly the man was in the driver’s side window.

“As soon as I grabbed the radio, I turn back around and all of a sudden, bam! in the face, and he’s in the window. He leaped up out of his wheelchair with no legs, grabbed onto the door and came right in. He went for the strike. I think he got me first.

“I still didn’t know he had a knife, and then I felt a pinch in my shoulder and I turned around. I went to strike him to hit him and I turned back and all of a sudden I saw his hand go up in the air, and he embedded that knife right in my arm,” Nelson said.

“He pulled it back and he said,’You’re (deleted) dead. I’m cutting your throat.’ He came in for the strike again. Now I’m in the mode of defense of, ‘How do I stop this?’ I’m thinking I got to get him off of me,” he said.

POLICE ARRIVE

A Youngstown police cruiser was pulling up at that point.

“He dove off of the window. I hear the policeman say, ‘Put your hands up.’ I look out and he (the officer) said, ‘All right, Dave, I got him.’ I said, ‘I don’t care about that.’ I opened the door and I said, ‘He got me good. I think he got me in the freaking chest too. ‘ I said, ‘I think I’m bleeding out.’

“He looked over and said, ‘Oh, Man, I think you are.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know how many times he got me,’ and I was afraid he got me in the chest. I reached up and I had blood on my hand, I said, ‘Man, he cut my jugular vein.’ He meant to kill me.”

It turned out the chest wound was minor, and there was no wound to Nelson’s neck. He doesn’t even know when he got hit near his eye. The injury to Nelson’s right wrist was a result of fighting the man off of him, Nelson said.

Nelson doesn’t know yet whether the stabbing caused significant internal injuries. He expects to go for follow-up medical attention.

In addition to Youngstown police, Animal Charity was in the area, Nelson said. It had gone there because someone reported that a man in a wheelchair was dragging a dog along Oak Hill Avenue. There also was a question about whose dog he had because a similar-looking dog was missing that day, Nelson said.

erunyan@vindy.com

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